* Judging and Kindness

There is a lot that comes up when I think of judging and what it means to me. I’m taking my KISS advice here and making it as simple as I can…. but this will be  a longer post than usual!Judging shadow

Judging is our default human condition. Our inner judge is there to keep us safe. For example, in an instant we observe and then evaluate the burning fire to see if it will hurt us or if the water is too deep, or if the animal coming towards us wants to eat us! We need to make judgments to keep ourselves safe.

However, over the years our judging thoughts grow and grow along with our ego. This is especially true if we are surrounded by other judgers such as critical parents or teachers.

Judging becomes the conditioned norm and we are not even aware of it. Our ego is reinforced because through judging, it makes us feel safe, in control and more powerful.  Its more important to protect in this way than to be free to take risks and change. Its more important to be seen in a certain way.

ego beauty

Our ego is being fed, but our heart and soul begin to ache.
We become prisoners to our own judge without realizing it. Conditioned thinking becomes more important that truly feeling and connecting to our true selves. It also prevents us from being vulnerable and truly connecting to others.

The inner judge takes on a life of its own and becomes a part of us and, as we know, turns in on ourselves as well. We learn to be self critical. We put ourselves down. Our inner critic tells us we aren’t good enough, strong enough, smart enough.  We shouldn’t have said that or done that. We don’t deserve this …

Then one day we wake up and get such a sense that something is not right. That something is missing. That life has more to offer, but we don’t know what the key is. 

judging and open heart quoteHere’s the key:

When we judge others we are projecting on to them a part of ourselves that we have not fully accepted in ourselves. Its something hidden within us. Its the shadow side that our ego cannot face. If you get triggered by a lazy person, then chances are that you have disowned that part of yourself. You don’t accept it in yourself or others. If you prickle when someone is showing off…  If you react to snobbery… If you get angry when you see someone smoking or eating junk food… If you get annoyed when you see other people judging. Then ….

There is something for you to look at here. This is your issue hiding behind criticisms. Hiding behind the persona you show the world. It isn’t really about the other person. Instead of it being about them, take this as an opportunity to look to yourself … without judgment. With kindness.

Embracing Shadow Self by Rita LLoydWe all have our shadows. The shadows are the other side of the light. Our ego wants to only see the light and how good we are. As long at it thinks the shadow is “bad” it will shun it and try to run away from it. The ego strives for a perfection that can never be.

Next time you catch yourself judging ask the hard question “How am I that?” Let yourself feel this discomfort, notice the judge and be kind to yourself. Let yourself be present with this feeling.

When we judge others, then know that we are surely judging ourselves even more.

When someone judges you, or you see them judging others, know that they are also judging themselves even more.

Judging goes hand in hand with inner struggle. It prevents people from feeling fully and being open. It protects them from feeling vulnerable, but the pay off is living life less fully.  Be kind towards the other judgers out there.

Judging keeps us from becoming fully present and facing what is real. A good example is when we sit to meditate in the early stages of the practice. Its the ideal situation for our ego to rebel. The mind and ego don’t like to be controlled, they have to be in charge to feel safe. So critical thoughts come up to keep us from being present and opening a connection to our heart and soul.

Moving from judgment to kindness is one of the most difficult and important paths for all of us. When we recognize our judge and start being more kind and accepting of others, also remember that the practice of self kindness and self compassion is the key. We cannot fully accept others until we have fully accepted all aspects of ourselves. Including our own judge.

be yourselfBe kind to all aspects of yourself.

Namaste

* Dalai Lama on Life’s Purpose

life purpose

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others, and if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” Dalai Lama

I love this message and also the photo of the little mouse on the palm of a hand. It reminds me of the little lady mouse that took up residence in our outside grill in September. Whenever we thought to clear out the nest, there have been babies …. We hope Mother Nature will encourage her to move back out to the woods in the Spring.

Namaste.

* Difficulty and Softness

Stones surrounded by rushing water

Whether you come across a difficult situation or encounter a difficult person, or find yourself in a difficult yoga pose …..

Take a moment to pause and come inside.

Notice if there is any hardness and tension that arises in your body and mind.

Take a breath and allow the exhale to bring softness.

Become like the water that flows around the steady foundation of your being.

Namaste

* Happiness

Inspiration for today. Decide to be happy!

Dr Bill Wooten

“Happiness is a decision, not an experience. You can decide to be happy without what you thought you needed in order to be happy, and you will be. Your experience is the result of your decision, not the cause of it.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch

happiness-wide

View original post

* Which Wolf are you Feeding?

black and white wolf

In the highs and lows of life there is often inner struggle. I first heard the tale of the two wolves some years ago, and it has appeared again twice this past week. Time to take notice for myself and share with you! I love the simplicity of  it and how it really opens up a new approach to dealing with our own attitudes and emotions.

There’s an old Native American tale about an elder who realized that  he had two wolves fighting inside of him.

One was mean spirited and selfish, and the other was noble and compassionate.

A younger man once asks of him “Which wolf usually wins?”

He replied, “It depends on which one I feed.”

Can you relate to this story? Which attitudes of mind and emotions do you tend to feed?

When we recognize and accept that both wolves are inside us, we can become mindful of which one to nourish.

* What we Resist will Persist

“What you resist persists.” Carl Jung

resisting ostrich head in sand

We think that by resisting, it will go away but it won’t. Resisting what is happening is at the root of our suffering. I’m not talking here about a real life threatening situation that demands we take action to defend ourselves, I’m talking about when we want a situation, a person or ourselves to be something other than what it is.

When we want what is, to be different, we are resisting. 

The more we resist, deny, criticize, complain and fight the truth … the more internal struggle we will have.

It really is in our hands whether we suffer more, or less.

Today, notice if you feel agitated… frustrated… sad… or critical. Come into the present moment and be a witness to yourself. Starting with your breath. Notice the flow of your breath in and out of your body. Then begin to take long and slow breaths. 

Ask :

What am I resisting?

Can I let it be?

As you breathe, notice any feelings and thoughts that come up.

Give them space.

Lean into the discomfort. Be kind to it.

Breath in more space, and breath out to release and let go.

Let it show you what it needs.

Recognizing when we are resisting is a powerful practice. At the beginning we may wonder what the big deal is …. after all resisting feels normal … until we are able to see that resisting is a conditioned response that has become as habit.  A habit that brings us suffering.

And now we have a choice.